There are few things in life as pleasurable as a relaxing motorcycle ride on a back country road on a beautiful, sunny day. Just you, the bike and the road. Not a care in the world. If you have a specific destination, that’s fine. If not, that doesn’t really matter, either. It’s all about the ride. A great ride can quickly result in a crash, however, if you do something careless or are not paying attention due to a distraction of some kind. Here then are a few things to keep in mind that will help to make all of your road trips great experiences:
1) Cell phones and motorcycles don’t mix. If you are riding your bike and your cell phone rings, don’t answer it. It can wait. Trying to talk on a cell phone while simultaneously riding a bike is a recipe for disaster. It’s too distracting and you have to use one hand to hold the cell phone while you continue riding. What happens if something suddenly jumps out in front of you and you need to take quick action? Like a small child wandering on to the road? Tragedy, that’s what. If your phone rings while you are riding and you really, truly need to answer it, pull off to the side of the road and then answer it. And if your phone stops ringing before you can safely pull off to the side of the road, that’s okay. You can always return the phone call when you are safely able to do so.
2) Don’t smoke while riding. You may look like one bad hombre while smoking and riding at the same time, but it’s not a safe thing to do at all. It’s distracting and it does require you to take one hand off of your bike to smoke. This means that you have less control over your bike while smoking. If you are so addicted to nicotine that you have to have a fix, then pull off to the side of the road to enjoy a smoke. Or use a nicotine patch.
3) Don’t eat or drink while riding. Like smoking, trying to eat or drink anything while riding is unsafe for the simple reason that it is very distracting and it requires you to take one hand off of your bike to do so. You may be able to save a little time by multitasking, but is your life really worth the extra five or so minutes you may save? Hardly. If your stomach is growling for a burger, fries, and a soft drink, then pull over somewhere and enjoy your meal at a restaurant like a normal person, even if your bike is equipped with a cup holder.
4) Don’t fiddle with electronic accessories while riding. Modern technology is a great thing. We can now listen to the radio or a CD while riding, use a GPS to direct us from point A to point B, and even use intercom systems to communicate with other riders. As great as these modern conveniences are, they can distract us from what’s in front of us while we are riding. And distractions are one of the leading causes of collisions for motorcycle riders. If you must make a minor adjustment to your radio or other gadget while riding, do so very quickly. If you have to take your eye off the road for more than a fraction of a second, pull over to the side of the road.
Bike riding is supposed to be fun; it isn’t supposed to end with a trip to the hospital (or worse). Be sure to always avoid distractions while riding so that you can be a vigilant and safe rider. Remember, it’s supposed to be about enjoying the ride. Don’t let distractions disrupt your love of riding.
Be safe. Stay Alert. Enjoy the ride.